Working in digital marketing has all but ruined me for casually browsing my News Feed without inciting some sort of reaction, from mild irritation to downright outrage. From the atrocities posted by my peers to errors made by the pages I follow, there always seems to be at least one thing that leaves me shaking my head, whether I’ve been on the platform for three minutes or 30. Here are just a few of my pet peeves so you can avoid my wrath, and that of others like me.
Their, There and They’re; your and you’re; accept and except; even allowed and aloud, social media is riddled with typos. I understand that your Tuesday afternoon Facebook update is not an New York Times article, but you look pretty silly when you tell everyone that you’re “watching American Pie for the first time because you weren’t aloud to watch R rated movies when it came out.” Business owners, creating a deck of social media posts in Word and having it reviewed by another set of eyes can help you avoid careless mistakes such as this before your customers ruthlessly call you out on them. Individuals, as you’re glancing back at your posts to see how many likes they’ve gotten in the five minutes since you put them up, take a second to check your spelling!
We’ve all seen these types before. Those that share every minute detail of their lives, be it happy, sad, or mundane. Some are obviously trying to illicit a response with a desperate cry for attention, while others truly believe that we are all waiting with bated breath to see what they had for lunch. They both provoke the same action: unfollowing or hiding their posts.
Excessive Hashtag Usage:
Similar to oversharers, these users are clearly looking for a reaction. Seen mostly on Instagram, these users stuff their posts – or even worse, comments on their own posts – with all of the hashtags they can think of in order to increase their reach and like count. Limit your hashtag usage to three or four and ensure that they are relevant to the photo you’re posting (i.e. don’t use #nofilter on a photo that is clearly filtered).
Posting Full URLs on Facebook:
This is a particularly cringe worthy one for me and it is the top lesson that all Facebook users can learn from digital marketers. Facebook automatically pulls the title of the page you’re sharing, a photo, and the page description. Once this summary appears, the URL may be deleted. Leaving the full URL is redundant and detracts from your post.
Attempting to Use Special Characters in Hashtags:
Numbers and letters are the only characters supported by hashtags. Special characters will break the hashtag, causing your message to get lost. This is the one case in which proper grammar is not necessary (ex: use the hashtag #MothersDay NOT #Mother’sDay).
Links Posted with No Description:
You’re not adding any value by simply sharing links. Let others know what you think about the link and why they should read click it. Businesses in particular should make sure to add their own commentary on the links they share and tie them back to their own companies.
Publishing Identical Posts on Multiple Platforms:
Pushing your Instagram photo to Facebook or Twitter is one thing, using Hootsuite to publish the same post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ all at the same time is quite another. Each platform has a unique style and audience, thus posts should be tailored to the specific platform. Plus, why should I follow you on multiple platforms if they’re all the same?
Whether simply annoying or egregious, each of these offenses has a negative impact on the social media presences of both businesses and individuals. As casual as these platforms are, we must remember that what we post in the digital realm impacts how we are perceived in the real world.